Testimonies and Memories

“Only be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you shall live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them”.

Deuteronomy 4:9

In the NIV Bible, the word “remember” is mentioned 130 times in the Old Testament and 36 times in the New Testament. In the coming days, it may be necessary for us to recall the spiritual journeys we have made and pass those memories on to our children and grandchildren. Our personal journey of faith, with all its ups and downs, doubts and disappointments might speak directly into the life of someone searching for meaning and truth.

We are asking for testimonies of how Cliff’s or Monica’s ministries have contributed to people’s Christian growth. We are all shaped by one another, as well as by the Holy Spirit and Scripture and it is helpful to share and record that process. Cliff and Monica want the Heritage Ministry to be a record of what God has achieved.

With this in mind, people who have been following Cliff and Monica’s ministries over the past 7 decades are being encouraged to send in their testimonies, to encourage others.  When we live through turbulent times it is important to remember what God has said and done in the past to help us understand the present and prepare for the future.

Here are some memories we have already collected.

In the early years of their ministry 1957 – 1978 Cliff and Monica were based in inner city churches and confronting the problems of race relations with the arrival of the Windrush immigrants and newcomers from Africa. May Craig was a young teenager in one of their churches at that time. Click here to read her memories.

How nice and kind and helpful they were and happy, never cross! They were an enormous influence in my life when an impressionable teenager. There was a large following of young people at the church. Cliff and Monica’s church was one of the first to welcome the ‘Windrush’ people from Jamaica. Being a Sunday School teacher, I got to know many of the young Jamaicans and I’m still in touch with some of them today. The Caribbeans were some of the most sincere Christians I had ever met. They were deeply spiritual, with a respect for each other and God, steeped in the bible and always singing. They had been brought up in the British tradition and seemed to fit into British life much more easily than the African people who later joined the church. I babysat for Cliff and Monica until they moved away to East Ham. There they built up a church that was failing until it also was overflowing with people.” May Craig

Many years later in 2007, Cliff and Monica were involved in the Zong Project, taking a replica slave ship around the UK, to educate people about the slave trade and again help people understand the roots of the race relations problem. Sheila Kolstoe remembers the time she spent as a volunteer guide on the ship. (link)

The Zong was such a very special time and all of us who worked to bring the story of ’The Zong’ were truly blessed by what God was doing despite all the attacks of the enemy. The subject of slavery caused many emotional reactions and I don’t think there was one of us that did not shed tears at some point….I was surprised to learn of the animosity between African and Caribbean descendants of the slave trade, and this was an area close to Cliff and Monica’s heart” Sheila Kolstoe

In the 1980s, Cliff became involved with the Parliamentary Group investigating the ‘Video Nasties’. May Craig had by then become a teacher and Cliff asked her to carry out some research for an enquiry into the Video Nasties for Parliament when she was teaching at a school in Highgate. (link)

I was asked to interview the children about the TV programmes they were watching. I was shocked to find many of the children were left alone at night, the older ones looking after the younger ones and they were watching all kinds of unsuitable TV programmes until late at night, with no adult supervision.” May Craig

In 1985 Cliff began publishing Prophecy Today, a Christian magazine which was to have the largest circulation in the country by 1990. Many people have sent in memories of how Prophecy Today has helped and guided them in their Christian journey. (link)

Pam Smith writes “In 1985 we were living in St Buryan, near Penzance.  A magazine, Prophecy Today, dropped through our letter box. I read it through and instantly felt that, although not easy, it was the truth. I went on the mailing list and still have every copy printed. One of the comments in the first PT that really hit me was the threat from Muslims. During one of my quiet times, I had heard the Lord say that the greatest threat to the world was from Islam.  I shared it with our Bible study group, but they all thought I was wrong, as there were very few Muslims in our country at that time and not a lot was known about Islam.  To read what Cliff wrote witnessed strongly to me.”

Chris Jeffreys writes “I discovered Prophecy Today and it was a real help to me as I struggled when the Toronto Blessing hit the fellowship I was attending. I was the only one who did not think it was a move of the Holy Spirit it was a lonely time, thankfully I did have other friends in other churches who were discerning so that was a help.”

Many others have been helped by the books that have been written. Sandra Griffiths remembers reading ‘Tell my People I Love Them’; Charles Gardner was impressed with ‘Towards the Dawn’. Click here to read their comments.

Its warnings about the inevitable consequences of sliding down the slippery slope away from our Christian foundations chimed well with my thinking, especially as a journalist who saw political and other events through a biblical lens and was frustrated by the Church’s tendency to separate the sacred from the secular….. I am hugely indebted to Cliff for his inspiration, encouragement and friendship which has spurred me on to help fulfil a much misunderstood calling valued by all too few of our church leaders – that of skilfully, wisely and concisely interpreting the great issues of the day in the context of what the Bible says.” Charles Gardner

Sandra Griffiths wrote “One of the first books I remember reading, which really impressed me was ‘Tell My People I love Them’, it impacted my heart and mind.  Was it in this books or a different one that Cliff shared a vision he had where he saw terrible judgement coming with one eye, while with the other eye he saw God's salvation coming.   That picture has never left me and I think it is speaking about this time in which we are living”.

Many others have enjoyed trips abroad with Cliff and Monica. (link)

“I have been on 13 tours to Israel and the “Seven Churches from Ephesus to Laodicia” with Cliff and Monica and was privileged to be one of the intercessors praying for the 153 prophets meeting near the summit of Mount Carmel. On my return to Felixstowe where I now live, I have preached on that momentous event in many local churches and at womens’ meetings throughout Suffolk”. Pamela Hewitt

“My first Issachar ministries overseas tour I attended, once I had retired, was in October 2017 to the Holy Land. This was life-changing and led to me a recommitment to the Lord following a full-immersion baptism in the River Jordan. Since then my focus has been entirely different”. Malcolm Maunder

“A group of us in Maidstone were led to start a Prayer for Israel meeting in 1985 and on one occasion someone brought a copy of the Prophecy Today magazine with the invitation to come to the Jerusalem Gathering (it was the edition printed in March/April 1985). I felt I should go and I went with a Prayer for Israel group. The Gathering was a life changing event and I felt led to become a Prophecy Today agent afterwards, giving out 5 copies every two months. I also became a prayer partner for Clifford and Monica’s ministry, knowing it was pivotal for the church to understand prophecy and what God is saying these days.” Molly Tully

Molly also remembers the setting up of ‘Issachar Watchmen’ groups around the country.  “Issachar Ministries also set up Watchmen Groups around the country as New Age teaching started to come in the 1990s. It helped us in discernment and intercession and I belonged to a group in the Medway towns for a few years.”

In 1994 Moggerhanger was purchased and many have written of their happy (and not so happy) times there (link)

When they were planning for their opening day, they reached out for volunteers, and I went to help them. It was a very good time. I was a cleaner, and I was staying at the Gate House. We had a lovely housekeeper named Amelia. She was such a kind person and a good cook. She always made us lovely puddings. Monica used to ask us to pick blackberries every so often, which she would use to make loads of jam. She used to bring the jam into the garden room, where we all met for coffee and lunch. 

 For me the most important memory was that we all sat together; leaders, bosses, cleaners. We were all a big family, just as in the Bible, we sat as a family.” Stella White

“The other good memory was of working as a volunteer at The Park in Moggerhanger, and meeting my future husband Gordon, who was not the husband I had been expecting!. I was there at a 'birthing time' of this ministry and it was exciting in many ways - and there was some good fellowship in the Gatehouse where we stayed. There were difficult times while at the Park too and we were part of a lot of prayer as spiritual battles were happening.”Veronica Woodbridge

“There were several of us who were volunteers. We were accommodated in the old gatehouse situated at the entrance to the grounds. The most delightful, kind and gentle older lady kept us well fed and nurtured. It was a lovely family atmosphere.... safe, easy, comfortable and so friendly. Despite a rather lumpy mattress I always slept well. But going up to work in the offices every day was what never failed to excite me. It always stirred something within me. I was a part of a small team, working on a variety of projects, but whatever each and every one of us was doing, we were doing unto the Lord. We were also an extended family, starting with prayers every morning, then always getting together again for lunch around several trestle tables pushed together. It was always a busy time working at the Park”. Sandy Harvey

If you have enjoyed reading this snapshot of just some of the memories we have received and have some of your own, please do write them down and send them either by email to: heritage@candmministries.org.uk

or by post to: Angela Isbister, Heritage Memories, Bedford Heights, Brickhill Drive, Bedford MK41 7PH